How does climate change affect air and water quality in north-central colorado?

With rising temperatures, there are changes in melt runoff, water quality problems, stressed ecosystems and transportation infrastructure, impacts on energy demand, and extreme weather events that can affect air quality and recreational opportunities. Studies show that climate change and health are related. Rising temperatures, air pollution and extreme weather conditions, which are among the most impactful consequences of climate change, threaten physical and psychological well-being 10. Children, older people, and people with lung or heart disease are at special risk. Latest report breaks down regional climate impacts for the first time.

He notes that a warmer atmosphere has already increased the frequency of droughts and wildfires in western and central North America. Meanwhile, Colorado is developing policies on climate change, ordering studies on the effects of climate change, and developing recommendations and guidelines based on empirical data.

The EPA is the primary organization that creates and implements most national climate-related policies, such as the Clean Power Plan, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act

. Four Colorado cities, Aspen, Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins, have adopted local climate action plans.

Changes in weather patterns, even slight changes in wind, temperature, humidity or cloud levels, increase pollutants such as ozone, carbon dioxide and particulate matter, which in turn affects overall air quality. The plan was the result of the collaboration of the Colorado Office of Energy, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Water Conservation Board and other private agencies and organizations. This is because the process of burning coal or oil combines carbon with oxygen in the air to produce CO2. This helps determine what plant species are found in each location; how nutrients, water and energy are recycled; and the relationships between soil, plants and water availability.

But climate goes beyond temperature and precipitation, so we also calculate “water balance”, the amount of water available for plants to use. The study provides each sector with recommendations on adaptation strategies, including the creation of climate change vulnerability assessments specific to surface water and groundwater supplies and a state plan for the energy sector that describes the cascading impacts of drought on energy use. Rain, which falls on burn scars, has caused deadly flash floods and erosion, leading to road closures and poisoning water supplies. The plan requires Denver's construction and energy sector to change the way structures are built and to identify energy efficiency strategies.

More snow melt in spring means less water in summer and autumn, which can complicate water supplies and increase fire hazards throughout the year. Linda Mearns, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder who led the North America section of the report, said these findings should come as no surprise to anyone who already lives in the state. Colorado depends on accumulated snow cover for recreation and water supply, but the report predicts it will continue to decline across the West. Climate change will affect the distribution of plants and animals in parks, which will change the functioning of ecosystems.

The climate, such as the hot, arid conditions on a high plateau, affects the plants and animals that live there and how quickly they grow and reproduce...

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